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Website Translation

All Your Need to Know for Website Translation

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What is the better way to reach the world other than a multilingual website? Thanks to the upgraded technology, web barriers are being removed. The dreadful language barrier keeping an entire market apart is being subtracted from the equation.

A successful website speaks multi-languages, communicates with international consumers, and has a strong online presence. An online language presence is in the ascending order starting from English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, and Arabic. Translating a website from a native language to a foreign language is not a piece of cake, and it requires a commitment to remove the subtle nuances.

Things to consider for website translation

Translation fails are hilarious, but it will not be funny if your multilingual website fails to impress the target audience. Fortunately, translation is possible by various means these days, either use machine translation or human translation; you still need to keep certain factors in mind.

URL – which domain to use

Translating a web site's URL is a crucial step. The URL you choose will become the root of the website layout. The reason is simple – each region based website style varies from the other. So if you plan to target the audience you can choose from any three URL types;

  • Country domain. It is a country based domain like www.xyz.us. This shows that the website is for the US audience.
  • Subdomain. While you keep the original domain, you add a subdomain (region-based) to categorize some parts of the website. For instance. www.us.xyz.com.
  • Sub-folders. This adds the benefit of the option to choose the language, and the domain for the particular region opens. For instance. www.xyz.com/us/.

Whichever domain you decide to choose, design for each domain will vary. You need to take care of how you are going to attract the target audience. Usually, companies are keen to hire website translation services that share their expertise and translate the website according to the requirement. If you choose to use a subfolder or a subdomain then make sure that the source website is adaptable into other languages.

Types of font and typeface to consider

Font and typeface sound similar in action but both are different. The font is a part of the type of family-like roman, boldface, or italic while the typeface is about the visual appearance and itself is a family or related set of fonts.

It’s important to take care of the typeface for your website, it must be adaptable into other languages, but not all of them are adaptable.

Some fonts are not suitable in certain languages either, which can otherwise translate look messy and inappropriate. This is most common when translating a website back and forth in eastern and western languages. For instance, Arabic starts from the right-hand side while majority languages, French, English, Italian, etc., are aligned from left to right. When the font doesn't accent the letters as needed, it will not give a professional look to the website.

Use of a variable typeface similar to the website layout works in the best interest of both, source and target language. Of course, you don’t want your customers to feel confused when they visit the website.

Use of the visual content – imagery, and media

When preparing a multilingual website, you need to focus on the visual representation. To make the graphics and images in your favor, it’s vital to focus on the cultural perceptions of the type of media you decide to choose. A bad choice of graphics and images can easily alienate your brand from the target audience.

Visual content plays a strong role in the form of images, infographics, animations, or even a video. Before you draw a final contestant for the website, do your research to ensure your visual content is culturally acceptable for the culture. To be able to achieve this goal, localization is the essential key for a multilingual website. Translation doesn't cover all aspects so to closely examine the cultural variations localization strategy must be effective.

If you take a closer look at fashion magazines, you will understand it. Their online website represents the local culture fused with the international audience demands. Some of the most famous examples of localized websites in fashion and lifestyle categories include Marie Claire, Harper, and Elle, and so on.

Specify the color schemes

Similar to the visual content, color plays an equivalent role. Red is the prime color for a Chinese audience, any website trying to engage the market of China will ensure to use certain colors that are of great value in Chinese culture.

This is just one example. Each region has a varying and unique reaction to the use of colors. So it's a good thing to take a closer look at the audience and their culture. Make a plan for the type of color schemes you will be using. To help gain trust and loyalty, familiarize yourself with the cultural connotations.

You need to avoid your audience from dissuading, that's why brand image and colors are a perfect telltale too. When you plan to expand to other countries your brand and website colors will engage the target audience.

Contraction and expansion of content

Change in language affects the layout of the website too. One common problem that any developer and translator face is related to expansion or contraction of the context.

Some languages use less space, are concise while some take larger space. For instance, if you translate content from English to Chinese, it will take less space but if you translate content from English to Arabic, not only more space will be required but the font size will be bigger in comparison as well.

So you cannot ignore the translating copy, each language has variation in roots and dialects. This difference also plays a huge role in shaping the website layout in the source and target language.

Bottom line

Website translation requires special attention to detail, and all the aspects mentioned-above must be kept in mind for flawless results. If you need accurate and fast website translation, it’s better to hire professional translation services. Get your website translated by a reliable service provider and let them take all the hassle.